Yesterday marked the end of the Seven Day Summer Shape Up program. Overall, the week went well and I really enjoyed trying some new plant-based recipes, including a delicious walnut pesto and sweet potato curry. I found the meals really … Continue reading
I haven’t been sleeping well lately. For a long time, actually. I have difficulty falling asleep at night and frequently wake up feeling tired and lethargic, even on days where I’m able to get a solid 8-9 hours of sleep. I had brought the subject up with my doctor recently, but he informed me I was doing all the right things – eating well, exercising regularly, avoiding caffeine before bed, etc. I thought it had something to do with the fact that I was a vegetarian – low iron or vitamin B12, perhaps? Nope – blood work indicated both levels were fine. I figured maybe I just have a poor mattress, but I can’t exactly afford to buy a brand new one at the moment.
Then I had an interesting “a-ha” moment earlier today at work. Every Wednesday we offer free 15-minute seated massages to staff. Someone didn’t show up for their scheduled appointment, so the therapist offered me the spot. I’ve only ever had a massage once in my life because I’m extremely ticklish, but today I obliged because my muscles were feeling tense. As soon as the masseur placed his hands on my shoulders he said, “Ah.. You’re not sleeping well.” His hands applied pressure to various spots on my back and he said, “You haven’t been sleeping well for a long time.”
At the end of the massage he described how he thought I was sleeping – curled up on my left side, back rounded, shoulders tucked up towards my ears, with one leg bent and the other straight. I laughed, surprised, because he was exactly right. Who knew he could determine all of that from a 15-minute chair massage?? It had never really occurred to me that my sleeping position was having that big of an effect on my quality of sleep. I usually just gravitated towards whichever position I found to be most comfortable.
This led me to wonder if there are certain sleeping positions that have been found to improve sleep quality. I found this recent CBS news report which was helpful. I don’t normally like falling asleep on my back, but the news report suggested it might be my best option for improving my sleep quality and reducing back pain. I also found this graphic from The Wall Street Journal which was insightful:
I’m going to give some of these suggestions a try over the next little while to see if there’s any improvement. The massage therapist also recommended that I do some stretches and deep breathing first thing in the morning in order to avoid muscle tension – I’ll be giving this a try too!
Have you been experiencing sleep issues lately? Maybe it’s time to change up your sleeping position! Changing your position could change your health :)
Be Well xo
I am very pleased to introduce Inspiring Healthy Living‘s first guest blogger, Jillian McKee! She reached out to me recently asking if she could contribute a guest blog about the importance of healthy eating to those coping with cancer treatment. If you are interested in submitting a guest blog for my consideration, please do not hesitate to email me! I am always looking to network with others that are passionate about health and wellness.
Nourishing Your Body For Wellness
By: Jillian McKee
No one wants to hear the dreaded word from their doctor – ‘cancer’. Whether diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other form of cancer, one will do everything possible to not only survive, but to live healthy and well.
When going through a cancer diagnosis, treatment, or recovery, the body can be quite traumatized. Great care must be taken through basic needs such as sleep, exercise, and nutrition. Preparing and eating healthy foods can greatly aid the body during cancer treatment and restoration.
The many properties needed for proper nourishment include minerals, vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and plenty of water. Many cancer patients lose their appetite and feel anxious about the additional stress of maintaining a good diet. However, this is very vital in the healing process.
Smoothies can easily be prepared from fresh ingredients like baby spinach, apples, berries, raw juices, and avocado. Almost any healthy food can be combined into a nutritious drink according to one’s preferences. Flax seed, olive oil, black beans, or other protein sources can be blended to add additional nutrient requirements.
It’s important to remember the necessity for good nutrition when fighting cancer. Malnutrition can negatively affect the body, especially in cancer patients. When the body receives proper nutrients it will be less likely to suffer weight and muscle loss, and more likely to retain healthy tissue and fight infection. Maintaining a strong and healthy body may ease the difficulties of cancer treatment and its results.
In certain cases, supplements may be added to nutritious foods in order to help the patient take in enough nutrients to stay well. Medication may decrease nausea and vomiting and increase appetite, digest food, and treat pain. Nourishment is necessary for healing and wellness.
Interested in learning more about holistic nutrition and cancer treatment? Check out this article from LiveStrong.com.
About the Author
“Jillian McKee has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment.”
Click here if you are interested in connecting with Jillian or reading some of her blog posts.